U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

December 2013 Archives

How the 5th Circuit Celebrates the Holidays

It's holiday time in the Gulf, and Fifth Circuit is closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

So while the judges and clerks are spending time with friends and family, let's celebrate with them, the Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi way!

Texas State Court Blocks Houston Gays From Marriage Benefits

A Texas District Court Judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing the City of Houston from extending marriage benefits and protections to gay couples.

This injunctive action was prompted by open lesbian and recently re-elected three-time Houston Mayor Annise Parker declaring that Houston would provide its legally married employees and their same-sex spouses with health and life insurance benefits, reports Think Progress.

Does this new resistance to offering LGBT persons benefits flirt with disaster?

State Burglary Definition Good Enough for Fed Sentencing

Burglary may be a common law concept, but when it comes to sentencing enhancements, there's plenty of case law on what constitutes "burglary" for federal sentencing.

The Fifth Circuit added to that line of cases in U.S. v. Guerrero-Navarro, affirming that Washington state's definition of burglary isn't overly inclusive for federal sentencing purposes.

What was Guerrero-Navarro's argument?

3 Texans Surface as Potential 5th Circuit Nominees

Since things are looking up for Obama's court nominees, his focus has turned to fill three vacancies in the Fifth Circuit.

A trio of Texans is being vetted for the empty seats, comprised of U.S. District Court Judges Xavier Rodriguez, Marina Garcia Marmolejo, and Gregg Costa, reports Texas Lawyer.

Let's take a gander at these three potential nominees.

Icy Weather May Keep Gulf-Area Lawyers Off Roads, Out of Courts

Winter weather can be unpredictable in the Fifth Circuit, and lawyers need to be prepared to deal with a sudden ice storm.

Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area lawyers learned this lesson the hard way last Friday, as both flights and road travel ground to a halt in the face of a massive ice storm, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

How can Gulf-area legal professionals weather the storms this winter?

Supreme Court Overturns 5th Circuit Tax-Shelter Decision

The Supreme Court reversed a Fifth Circuit decision on Tuesday, ruling unanimously that billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs owed the IRS for his tax-shelter shenanigans.

McCombs had attempted to argue that despite him and partner Gary Woods setting up a tax shelter to create financial losses for the Texan pair, neither should be eligible for the 40% penalty leveled at them by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), reports Reuters.

So why did SCOTUS think otherwise?

La. Gay Marriage Suit Falters by Naming Wrong Defendant

A Louisiana federal court dismissed a case challenging the state's ban on gay marriage on Wednesday, largely because the plaintiff named the wrong state official as the defendant.

The suit was originally filed on behalf of Jon Robicheaux and Derek Pinton, a gay couple who was legally married in Iowa and sought the recognition of their home state. The Washington Blade reports that another same-sex couple joined the suit later as plaintiffs, and both were denied by the court's recent decision.

How was the case swept aside on procedural grounds?